Deregulation of secondary metabolism in a histone deacetylase mutant of Penicillium chrysogenum

Fernando Guzman-Chavez, Oleksandr Salo, Marta Samol, Marco Ries, Jeroen Kuipers, Roel A L Bovenberg, Rob J Vreeken, Arnold J M Driessen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The Pc21 g14570 gene of Penicillium chrysogenum encodes an ortholog of a class 2 histone deacetylase termed HdaA which may play a role in epigenetic regulation of secondary metabolism. Deletion of the hdaA gene induces a significant pleiotropic effect on the expression of a set of polyketide synthase (PKS) and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS)-encoding genes. The deletion mutant exhibits a decreased conidial pigmentation that is related to a reduced expression of the PKS gene Pc21 g16000 (pks17) responsible for the production of the pigment precursor naphtha-γ-pyrone. Moreover, the hdaA deletion caused decreased levels of the yellow pigment chrysogine that is associated with the downregulation of the NRPS-encoding gene Pc21 g12630 and associated biosynthetic gene cluster. In contrast, transcriptional activation of the sorbicillinoids biosynthetic gene cluster occurred concomitantly with the overproduction of associated compounds . A new compound was detected in the deletion strain that was observed only under conditions of sorbicillinoids production, suggesting crosstalk between biosynthetic gene clusters. Our present results show that an epigenomic approach can be successfully applied for the activation of secondary metabolism in industrial strains of P. chrysogenum.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00598
Number of pages15
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2018


  • chrysogine
  • crosstalk
  • histone deacetylase
  • naphtha-gamma-pyrone
  • Penicillium chrysogenum
  • sorbicillinoids

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